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Holly Grove Primary Academy

Outdoor Learning

What is Outdoor Learning?

At Holly Grove Primary Academy School we understand the advatages of and promote learning outside the classroom. Our aim is for all children to access and achieve through a wide range of experiences. Learning outside the classroom develops and broadens the childrens knowledge in an holistic way. 

At Holly Grove we aim for a pupils to be creative thinkers and think 'outside the box' as well as being able to showcase their individuality. We inspire children to be motivated and make the most of their educational experiences showing skills of perserverence, determination, resourcefulness and reflectiveness.

Learning Outside the classroom experinces include, trips, visitors to school, walks around the local environment, educational overnight stays, forest school session on site.


All children

  • Have access to out of the classroom experiences
  • Have visitors come into school to heighten and develop topics
  • Have the opportunity to take part in off site events and trips
  • Reflect upon their opportunities
  • Take part in forest school sessions 
  • Develop and aquire new skills
  • Take part in risk and challenge experiences
  • Work with a range of differing materials
  • Take their learning outside
  • Develop a respect for the environment
  • Take care of the world around them

What our children say about taking part in outdoor lessons... 


Learning outside the classroom aims to develop a wealth of skills, risk and challenge and a greater understanding about the world around us through offsite visits, visitors to the school, educational overnight stays and forest school sessions. Below is the intent of a Forest School session. 

Outdoor Learning Intent format.pdf


The document below shows a set of key skills that we believe to be important to enhance and build upon the children previous knowledge from EYFS to Year 6 through Forest School sessions.

what you can expect to see in a lesson.pdf

What you expect to see in a unit of work.pdf

Our Outdoor Learning Curriculum

Progression of Skills.pdf

Outdoor Learning Vocabulary.pdf

Two Year Overview.pdf

Look at our fantastic Outdoor Work!



Early Years

In Early years we have been working on our Personal Social and Emotional skills. To do this we have learnt the Forest School Rules, played team games and worked together in partners or small groups. Our main emphasis has been on Autumn and the changes during the season. As part of Bonfire week we had our own fires and had a little go at using a fire flint. Our skills learnt from the progression of skills grid were to:

Nursery - make a dog log, walk around the fire circle safely

Reception - tie a simple knot, move around fire circle independently 

Key Stage 1

In Key stage One we have recapped on the rules and played lots of games to remind us remember to stay out of the fire circle. 
We have enjoyed looking at nature closely especially the mushrooms and fungus that had grown and then we used this to help us make up stories about fairies. The snails were having an amazing time during Autumn and we went on snail trail to discover where they went. 

Key stage 2

Recapping of skills already learnt and Forest school rules as well as learning some new team games. 

In year 3/4 we created fossils using clay and plaster of Paris. We also recreated cave art using mud. To commemorate and remember soldiers who have been hurt in WWII we made wool poppies using our lashing skills. 
It was very windy during one session so we made anemometers to measure wind speed. 

In 5/6 we looked at and recreated writing techniques like in the Tudor times using feathers as quills. We learnt lots of new knots and then used these skills to make rafts. We also used the bow saw to make fire wood and then used this wood for fire time and celebrated our skills by cooking and eating s’mores.  

Other Useful Outdoor Learning Information ?

Please look at these websites to discover more about outdoor learning  

What is Forest School ?

Learning Outside the Classroom

Cannock Chase Forest

For the more adventurous

Government Research

Useful Outdoor Learning Ideas 

Outdoor Learning can also be fun to do at home. Here are a few ideas about what you could do to challenge and enhance your child's experiences. 

Birds in Winter Feed the Birds

Den Building How to build a den outdoors

Knots How to tie simple knots

Mud Kitchen How to build your own

Visit Outdoor Spaces Cannock Chase our local beauty spot 

National Trust How to become a member